Saturday saw the Reserves win a tough contest with Uni Blues, the U23s lose a heartbreaker to SKOB Gold and the U19 Reserves go down (and out) to SKOB. Today, the Menages had a good win over St Kevin's Green in the Premier Thirds first-semi. Four Xavs teams are still alive, and three will play Grand Finals, with the Reserves and U19 Premier team qualified, and the Menages to battle the U23s in the Prelim.
At Trevor Barker Oval, the Brownies defeated Uni Blues for the first time in four contests, winning their way into another Grand Final.
In Ed Lachal's 150th game, the Red 'n' Blacks hit their straps in the second half, holding Blues to just a single major, while helping themselves to five.
Blues looked the slicker team early, while Xavs look hurried. But the Claret and Stout turned up the pressure and the Varsity started to fumble and waste possessions. In time, Xavs found their own rhythm and put together some punishing bursts.
The senior experience proved positive for Luke Bisset and Hamish Cullity, who were outstanding dropping back to this company, while regular senior players Josh Anderson and Louis Denton showed their class.
The latter broke through for two goals, while Mitch Parker booted three after tuning his radar. Tommy Amad was busy and his long left foot is proving a real weapon.
The job is still to be done, but the Ressies' 13th premiership is just one win away.
University Blues 2.1-13 4.2-26 5.3-33 5.3-33
Old Xaverians 0.3-3 3.5-23 6.7-43 8.9-57
Goal Kickers: M. Parker 3, L. Denton 2, J. Forrest, H. Cullity, L. Keith
Best Players: H. Cullity, L. Bisset, M. Parker, J. Anderson, T. Amad, L. Denton
Healy's Heroes went down in a close one against SKOB Gold. The Reds had plenty of opportunities to win in the final term, but could not convert.
A trip to the Prelim at Sandy next Sunday is now on the menu.
Coach Shane Healy reports:
The OX Reds faced up to St Kevins Gold in the Premier 3rds second semi final at Sandringham on Saturday.
The ground was in perfect condition and there was no typical breeze off the water which made playing conditions pretty friendly.
SK had the better of the opening quarter, were harder at the contests and used the ball better around the ground. Our last seven minutes was our best as we began to get into the contest and run better.
The final moments of the opening quarter saw a head knock to Charlie Kennedy who struggled to recover over the duration of the game and also a good opportunistic goal from Sama to have us just a fortunate nine points down at quarter time.
From the beginning of the second quarter, we were the stronger team dominating possession but too often giving the ball up via SK pressure and tackling and on occasions our own poor kicking and handball.
Watkin was proving a strong target at CHF while Cain, Beaton and Nugent were winning plenty of the ball around the ground. Our defence had the edge in the air and on the ground with Ingham, Conor O’Sullivan, Chris and Dan Prowse and Jack Buffon all contributing.
We faced a five point deficit at half-time after Bishop and Amato had missed sitters and Cain had been taken from the ground after a late hit.
WE took over the game in the early part of the third quarter with vital goals that gave us a seven point lead – Charlie Wilson, Sam Cleeve and Jack Delutis were having an impact as we began to dominate. SK kept chipping away and found a goal to claw back the deficit, going into the last break narrowly to the good !
The last quarter was a real war – we had the majority of the footy but our skills were letting us down too often and even after a vital goal from Teddy that won us back the lead, the game continued to be on a knife-edge.
A free-kick to SK and a resultant goal gave them back the lead with five minutes to play and though we attacked fiercely, we could not get back the goal we needed and it was our opposition that took the easy step to the Grand Final, leaving us to face an extremely difficult opponent in the Menages this Sunday at Box Hill.
St Kevins OB Gold 2.3-15 3.3-21 4.8-32 5.9-39
Old Xaverians Red 1.0-6 2.4-16 4.4-28 5.4-34
Goal Kickers: E. Watkin, J. Buffon, S. Vanderkley, J. Samartzis, H. Kelly
Best Players: F. Nugent, C. Wilson, E. Watkin, D. Prowse, S. Cleeve, J. Samartzis
Despite a magnificent comeback in the third stanza, the Rs lowered their colours to SKOB and finished their year in third place.
SKOB had the better of the first half at Sportscover, but the brave Red 'n' Blacks bounced back hard to trail by just a goal at the lemons. But the Tricolours steadied and booked a ticket to next week's Grand Final.
St Kevins 5.4-34 8.7-55 9.9-63 14.13-97
Old Xaverians 3.3-21 3.6-24 8.9-57 9.9-63
Goal Kickers: A. Trigar 2, L. McCombe 2, C. Goessler 2, S. Proud, J. Ukovic, J. Lyon
Best Players: A. Trigar, P. Beaton, D. O''Shannassy, J. Ukovic, H. Bergin
Pics from Sarah Hess
The Menages defeated St Kevin's Green in the first semi final today at Sandringham and this advance to the preliminary final with the Old Xaverians U23s.
The Red 'n' Blacks couldn't find the big sticks in the first half and trailed narrowly at the long break. Beyond that, they straightened up, while the Tricolours lost their radar.
While the Menages forward line didn't keep the scorers too busy, their backline virtually put the Kevin's offence to sleep. They added just 2 behinds after the half, and the Menages caught and then went past their opponents.
Old Xaverians 0.6-6 2.6-18 4.7-31 5.9-39
St Kevin's Green 1.3-9 3.6-24 3.11-29 3.13-31
Goal Kickers: M. Peric, J. Hanger, C. Dipierdomenico, J. Preece, A. Ongarello
Best Players: H. Sleeman, J. Preece, J. Hanger, M. Peric, A. Cannon, A. Ongarello